Ablative Non-Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing

Ablative non-fractional skin resurfacing treatments remove layers of skin to reveal a younger and brighter complexion. The ablative lasers are powerful and vaporize tissue, allowing for new skin to form in its place. This is the most aggressive form of laser skin resurfacing.

Ablative Non-Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

18 days

Permanence

Temporary

Application

Laser/Light Therapy

Surgical

No

Cost

$2000 - $2500

The Specifics


What is ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing?

An ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure is the most aggressive form of laser resurfacing. The ablative component uses intense heat to vaporize skin tissue (versus non ablative lasers which do not destroy skin cells), and the non-fractional aspect means the laser treatment is spread across a large treatment area. Ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing treatments stimulate new collagen growth, tighten underlying skin, and remove old, damaged, or hyperpigmented skin cells. The most common Common non-fractional ablative lasers include carbon dioxide (CO2) and erbium.

What cosmetic concerns does an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure treat?

  • Fine Lines & Wrinkles: Ablative Lasers encourage collagen production to fill in fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Facial Skin Laxity: Collagen stimulation firms and tightens skin.
  • Uneven Skin Tone: Removal of skin cell layers encourages new cells with uniform pigmentation for consistent skin tone.
  • Uneven Skin Texture: Dead skin cells and sebum build up are removed to smooth and even texture.
  • Melasma: Abnormal pigmentation can be addressed by removing superficial skin layers to reveal healthier skin.
  • Acne Scars: Cell turnover and collagen stimulation promote a more even, smooth skin appearance.

Who is the ideal candidate for an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

The ideal candidate for an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing has sun damaged skin, fine lines and wrinkles, skin laxity (especially around the lower eyelids), changes in skin tone or texture, or certain precancerous skin growths. Ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing is not recommended for those with darker skin tones due to the risk of hypopigmentation.

What is the average recovery associated with an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

Most patients experience two to three weeks of downtime following an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing. Redness, rawness, swelling, and itchiness are common following these laser resurfacing treatments. Patients can expect the red or pink appearance of the skin to persist for two to three months. Thick, hydrating ointments, proper skin care, and limiting sun exposure can speed recovery time.

What are the potential side effects of an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

Possible side effects following an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing include burns or other skin damage from the heat of the laser, scarring, hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation, reactivation of cold sores, bacterial infections, and development of milia (white bumps).

What can someone expect from the results of an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

The results of an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing will not be immediately noticeable following the procedure, but rather they will develop over weeks or months as the skin heals and rejuvenates. Taking care to avoid excessive sun exposure and utilizing sunscreen during this time period can mitigate the risk of irregular pigmentation development. The results of an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing will be significant, but will also be subject to age related changes and sun damage as time progresses.

What is the average cost of an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure?

An ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $2,500. The actual cost of an ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing is dependent upon location, provider, and length and involvement of the cosmetic procedure.

Pros

smooths skintightens skinlasting resultsimprove skin qualityimprove skin texturemore effective

Cons

scarringpigmentation changesexacerbate skin disordersmore invasivelonger recovery

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect


Ablative non-fractional skin resurfacing treatments remove layers of skin to reveal a younger and brighter complexion. This is the most aggressive form of laser skin resurfacing. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after non-fractional ablative skin resurfacing.

The Takeaway


An ablative non-fractional laser skin resurfacing procedure can provide dramatic improvements to skin tone, skin texture, and overall appearance. By removing the outer layer of damaged skin cells and promoting new collagen production, ablative non fractional lasers restore, refresh, and rejuvenate the skin.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Academy of Dermatology Many Ways to Firm Sagging Skin
  2. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Skin Tightening americanboardofcosmeticsurgery.org
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